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Stephen Jerzak Warped Tour Hartford CT: Sunday, July 17, 2011

 The first musician I saw at Warped Tour 2011 was Stephen Jerzak.  I walked right over to the Skullcandy stage with my camera, excited to see him.  He was playing really early in the morning, and it was already really really hot outside.  He walked out on stage and already had a good amount of people ready to listen to him.  The crowd seemed eager.

Even though he was playing around 11:30 in the morning, that didn't affect his performance or mood.  He was just as upbeat and awake as any other show he's done.  And though it wasn't a huge crowd, he treated it just like any other show.  Jerzak gave it his all, was entertaining and energetic, all the while sustaining a great tone in his voice and though he does just make music under his own name, he had a pianist and drummer along with him up on stage.  At first I didn't like the set, because I was used to listening to live bands in a closed environment, Warped is only once a year, so the sound was a bit off and while all the instruments were loud, I expected Stephen's voice to overpower.  Then I remembered since they were outside, some of the sound would be drowned by the other events going on.  However, they also turned Jerzak's mic up so that way he was more clear.  From there, it got even better.

He opened up with "She Said", one of his newer tunes.  I expected for the live version of this song to be lame because he didn't have Leighton Meester with him.   Since I hadn't seen that song in concert before, I had high expectations.  However, Jerzak managed to do more that live up to those expectations.  His vocals were really good, but he also had the back track of Meester's voice playing along.  However, it was obvious he wasn't lip-synching because he took breaks from singing for the crowd to do it and a lot of them knew the words.  His voice was really clear and he sounded just like he does recorded.

Jerzak played songs like "Sky High", "Time Bomb" and "Cute".  "Sky High" is one of his older songs, so I was surprised he did a song off the Sky High EP because it's from all the way back in 2009, and he's come out with so much more material since then.  His sound's changed a lot since then but it was nice to see that he still plays his older tunes. 

He was all smiles, and there were plenty of people singing along in the crowd, too.  I'm glad that he got a chance to be on Warped Tour so he can gain a bigger fan base.  He has a lot of talent and has been able to spread it to an even broader audience.

 Stephen Jerzak is going places, and Warped was just the beginning. 

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